No, enjoying a G&T doesn’t mean you’re a psychopath

External Link:

Political Barflies: Time, members, please!
The Conversation

By Megan Willis, Australian Catholic University

Posted

October 13, 2016 07:03:53

Photo:
Handle with care: a gin and tonic served as ‘holy water’ at the Brisbane Festival. (612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
No gin joint in country NSW while meeting hipster drink market
Related Story:
Map:
Australia
G and T: Gin and Tasmania a match made in distiller's heaven

A search for the word “gin” in the research paper that prompted this news story produced a grand total of zero hits.It’s therefore rather concerning that this paper has spawned a huge number of popular articles all reporting this non-existent link, such as this one that has been shared on Facebook nearly 300,000 times.Depending on what you read, if you’re partial to a gin and tonic you are either a psychopath, or slightly more generously, a possible psychopath. The short story is, it hasn’t.I determined this reasonably efficiently. I was looking at Facebook one evening last week when my attention was captured by the headline “Gin lovers are all massive psychopaths, according to experts” — a somewhat disconcerting thing to read as I sipped the gin and tonic I had in my hand at the time.As someone whose propensity to empathise with others has seen me spend entire evenings crying over the plight of movie characters, psychopathy has never made its way onto my list of self-diagnoses.I instantly felt compelled to learn more about how a penchant for gin had become the new diagnostic tool to detect a psychopath.
Related Story:
Related Story:
Australian distillers put their own twist on global gin craze
Quite simply, they don’t.The study provided no evidence that an individual’s preference for specific bitter drinks like coffee, beer or tonic water (with or without gin), has any relationship with psychopathy. Even if it had, this would fall a long way short of being able to brand anyone who enjoys a G and T as a psychopath.The only thing this study found was a weak positive relationship between psychopathy and a general penchant for bitter things. Other stories have cast the net a bit wider, branding coffee and beer drinkers as potential psychopaths too — which, if you think about it, would make society a pretty scary place.Booze newsThese news stories are misreported accounts of research from the University of Innsbruck. Responses were then averaged to create a score for psychopathy and the other traits.The researchers measured bitter taste preferences in two ways. (ABC: Lisa Millar)
The researchers measured psychopathy using a brief personality measure that assesses three socially undesirable personality traits: psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism — collectively known as the “dark triad”.Participants indicated their agreement with statements such as “I tend to be callous or insensitive” and “I tend to lack remorse”. First, participants were provided with a list of 10 bitter foods and drinks, including coffee, tonic water, beer, radishes and celery, and rated them on a scale from 1 (dislike strongly) to 6 (like strongly). Photo:
Jekyll or Hyde? Across two studies, researchers investigated the relationship between bitter taste preferences and various antisocial personality traits, including psychopathy.While many tend to think of it as a disorder that afflicts only the most calculating of criminals, psychopathy is also conceptualised as a personality trait that falls along a continuum, with those at the extreme end characterised by superficial charm, callousness, and a lack of empathy. (ABC News)
How on earth do these findings translate to people who drink gin, coffee or beer being probable psychopaths? That is, those with higher psychopathy scores did not display stronger overall liking for the specific bitter foods and drinks, including tonic water, coffee, and beer.However, there was a weak correlation between psychopathy scores and participants’ scores on their general preference for bitter tastes. No, Tasmanian distiller Bill Lark, sipping a small glass of his gin. These scores were then averaged to create an overall measure of bitter taste preferences for each person. The researchers also asked participants to rate their liking for bitter foods and drinks in general (as opposed to the specific examples) on the same scale.The bitter truthThe results reported no significant relationship between psychopathy scores and participants’ preference scores for the specific bitter foods and drinks. So you might say that people at the psychopathic end of the spectrum are slightly more likely to express a preference for eating or drinking bitter things in general. Photo:
Distillery owner Max Chater explains the joys of gin on the London Gin Trail. In my view, this link is negligible compared with other, more well established predictors of psychopathy, such as a person’s genes or sex.If you want to know if you’re talking to a psychopath, the truth is that most will reveal themselves soon enough, especially if you know the tell tale signs — which don’t include whether or not they’re brandishing an aperitif.Megan Willis is a senior lecturer in the School of Psychology at Australian Catholic University.Originally published in The Conversation.

Losing hair but finding solace with a free wig

A free wig and turban service is brightening the faces of women undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Louise Campbell, aged 50, had experienced a wide-range of side effects from chemotherapy, but one of the most confronting side effects from her treatment was losing her hair.
(ABC North Queensland: Sophie Kesteven ) ABC North Qld

By

Sophie Kesteven

Posted

October 13, 2016 10:55:28

Photo:
Louise Campbell and Rhyl Graham have been making the most of the wig and turban service.
Talking wigs and turbans

(ABC News)

Audio:
Map:
Townsville 4810

Following her diagnosis three months ago, Ms Campbell began chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer in Townsville, north Queensland. (ABC North Queensland: Sophie Kesteven )
“They show you how to play around with makeup, because you can lose your eyebrows and eyelashes as well,” she said. “Coming into the Wig and Turban Service, they’ll come in and they’ve woken up that morning and their hair is on their pillow; they are pretty devastated,” Ms Graham said. “We then go to the colour and we offer them a catalogue to browse through; sometimes they say ‘I like that’, even though it’s a completely different colour,” she said. “I had shoulder length hair and I wanted a bit of control of how I lost my hair,” Ms Campbell said.”First off I got a short style cut, and then when it started to thin out a little bit my partner — we wanted to play around a bit — so I got a Mohawk.”Then when it really started to come out in chunks he gave me a number two.”Since taking part in a Look Good, Feel Better Day at the Cancer Council — a workshop that brings cancer patients together experiencing the same side effects — Ms Campbell now has a blonde bob on loan, which looks similar her former hair. (ABC North Queensland: Sophie Kesteven )
Rhyl Graham has been making turbans for women with cancer for the past 17 years.She became a volunteer with the Cancer Council ESA Wig and Turban service when it began more than three years ago.During that time she has also learnt how to create vibrant designs. “It made a huge difference to how I felt.”One of the most difficult parts of breast cancer, especially if you have a mastectomy and going through chemo, is losing a breast and losing your hair.”It’s part of your femininity [and] being a woman.”So knowing that you can come and get a free wig and bring it back, change it, that does mean a lot to your self-esteem.” The art of crafting a turban

Photo:
According to the Cancer Council, more than 200 wigs and turbans were used by cancer patients in north Queensland in 2015. Ms Campbell said she became aware of the Cancer Council ESA Wig and Turban Service after a breast care nurse mentioned it to her during treatment one day. “We might put a bright red one on the client and they might take photos, and it becomes a game, and the reward of doing it is that when they walk out of here they are on a high.”Ms Graham said the high might only last until their next session, but being able to get their spirits up is a rewarding experience. But we do like to see someone really get a kick out of having something different.”As part of her volunteer work, Ms Graham would come into the Townsville Cancer Council most Fridays to help women choose the right wig or turban for them. “We can tizzy up a turban with few diamantes, or scarves, or flowers, or anything,” Ms Graham said.”You’ll get the ladies who like the bright colours you also get other people who are a bit more conservative and like the plain reds, blacks. Photo:
The free ESA Wig and Turban Service has been running in Townsville for the past three and a half years.

Which Aussie landmarks should be on the Monopoly board?

666 ABC Canberra

By

Penny Travers

Posted

October 13, 2016 11:28:00
Photo:
ACT Monopoly champion Gerry Abideen competing at the national championships in 2015. The nominations for the next Australian edition include:ACT: Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra, Australian War Memorial, Floriade, QuestaconNew South Wales: Sydney Harbour, Byron Bay, Orange, Coffs Harbour, Lord Howe IslandVictoria: Melbourne, Great Ocean Road, Yarra Valley, Phillip Island, Mornington PeninsulaQueensland: Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Whitsundays, tropical North QueenslandSouth Australia: Hahndorf, Flinders Ranges, Port Lincoln, Barossa Valley, Kangaroo IslandWestern Australia: Perth, Margaret River, Broome, Exmouth, EsperanceTasmania: Evandale, Freycinet, Hobart, Stanley, StrahanNorthern Territory: Uluru, Kakadu National Park, Arnhem Land, Darwin, West MacDonnell National ParkCast your vote on the Monopoly Australia website from November 1 to 22. “It’s tangible; you’re able to sit there with an opponent and interact with them, rather than sitting at a computer and staring at a screen.”With Monopoly you can see their reactions and sometimes it can be quite hilarious.”Is there a winning strategy?Everyone seems to have their own strategy when it comes to conquering the board, but Mr Abideen recommended “buying up big nice and early”.”Everyone tries to snap up all the orange ones, they’re the most popular places to land on the board,” he said. Nostalgia is part of the game’s appeal — it has been around for more than 80 years and many Australians have grown up playing it with family and friends. Photo:
Lauren Ingram’s home-made Canberra-edition of Monopoly: ‘Canberra-opoly’. “It’s a nice family game — as long as you’re not too competitive,” ACT Monopoly champion Gerry Abideen said.Players move around the board buying or trading properties, developing their sites with houses and hotels and collecting rent from their opponents. (Supplied: Alvaro Ojeda)
The aim of the game is to drive all other players into bankruptcy and leave one monopolist in control of the board’s economy. to maximise your returns.” At the end of the day, however, luck has a lot to do with it.”You can’t control where you land on the board,” Mr Abideen said.”The way the dice falls, you could end up anywhere and lose a lot — but if you have a lot to lose then that’s OK.”Have your sayWhile Monopoly originated in the United States in 1903, the current commercial version was first sold in 1935.Since then it has been locally licensed in more than 100 countries and printed in dozens of languages. “It’s a very strategic game, there’s a lot of thinking involved,” Mr Abideen said. Monopoly has been a household favourite for decades, and despite the attraction of electronic games it seems the roll of the dice still has pulling power. (Supplied: Lauren Ingram)
There are hundreds of versions and editions linked to cities and popular culture around the world. The Australian edition of the board game is being revamped and fans have been invited to vote for their favourite places.Forty destinations from each state and territory have been shortlisted but only 22 properties will make it onto the board.Fun for the whole family?But what makes Monopoly the world’s most popular board game? “I just try to buy everything — the more you have the more you can trade with and you sort of get yourself in a better position.”I prefer the light blues and the purples and build up the lower end of the board …
Photo:
Monopoly fans can vote for the places they want to see on the new Australia edition. (Supplied: Stuart Faunt)

Map:
Canberra 2600

Wrestling fan’s dream comes true after thieves steal child’s beloved figurines

A far north Queensland family have received an outpouring of kindness after their disabled son’s wrestling figurines were stolen from his backyard cubby house last month.Jesse Fullerton, 11, has Down syndrome and struggled to understand why someone would steal his beloved figurines when he discovered they were missing.”For the few days afterwards he kept going out to the backyard and asking us when the bad people were going to bring his toys back,” said his mother, Amanda Fullerton.”It was very hard for him to comprehend that they were gone and that they weren’t coming back,” she said.”He doesn’t comprehend that people steal, that’s not in his nature.”Before the theft of his collection, Jesse had more than 80 wrestling figurines, including a 1-metre tall figurine of his favourite wrestler, John Cena.”[Jesse] used to actually physically wrestle with that one himself,” Ms Fullerton said.”That was the worst thing to lose because now when Jesse goes outside he wants to wrestle with us.”
External Link:

Jesse's presentation
‘More good people than bad’When Queensland Police heard about the theft officers at Jesse’s local station did more than just investigate the crime.They made contact with toy manufacturer Mattel and the Australian arm of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) to see if they could help.”Through some negotiations, Mattel and the WWE have helped Jesse out to make it right, and supplied some new figurines and even some tickets to an event on the Gold Coast,” Sergeant Michael McGarry said.”That goes some way in trying to show Jesse that there are more good people out there than there are bad people,” he said.Community members have also rallied around Jesse, donating unused wrestling toys to him in the wake of the theft. (ABC Far North: Mark Rigby)
“He gets excited about opening things, but I don’t think he understands where they’re all coming from,” Ms Fullerton said.”It’s up to us as his family to keep telling him, and the one thing we have been telling him is that there’s more good people than bad people around.”I think he’s starting to understand that a bit more.”Silver lining to a thoughtless crimeSergeant McGarry said although police were attuned to dealing with heinous acts, crimes like this were often the most heartbreaking.”When you’ve got a victim of crime like young Jesse … it puts a bit of a ripple through the police,” he said.”Fortunately we have been able to right it a little bit for him, but it doesn’t take away that feeling of someone coming into his yard and taking his toys.”Until we identify that person there’s a little bit of a knot still there that we really wish we could untie.”While the family is still unsettled by the thought of someone stealing Jesse’s toys, today’s outcome has “restored our faith in humanity”.”It’s overwhelmed us that all these people have done all these things helped us to replace them,” Ms Fullerton said.”We never would have been able to replace them on our own, it would have cost us a fortune and taken forever.”As a family we found it a little bit hard to accept all these donations, but somebody said we have to do it so Jesse understands there are good people out there that want to help.”

Photo:
Jesse Fullerton thanked Edmonton police sergeant Michael McGarry for helping organise replacements for his stolen wrestling figurines. Photo:
Jesse has had a mixture of new and used figurines donated to him, as well as a family pass to a live wrestling event on the Gold Coast in December. (ABC Far North: Mark Rigby)
Map:
Cairns 4870
ABC Far North

By

Mark Rigby

Posted

October 13, 2016 15:48:29

Photo:
Jesse Fullerton was all smiles when he received a parcel full of wrestling figurines. (ABC Far North: Mark Rigby)

Remote animal rescue group saves 151 dogs from death row

She has since reopened it to temporarily house the dogs. Ms Josephson used to own a dog boarding businesses but closed it when she started a family. Each animal has fundraising page established and once it reaches enough money to transport it to bigger towns, the group send it to an adoption centre.The group also hopes to change people’s attitudes about getting rid of animals that are not good at their job by starting the program.Ms Josephson said the district had a problem with pigging dogs being abandoned on properties if they got injured or did not perform well. She said euthanasia rates at the Cobar and Bourke pounds had also dropped by more than 90 per cent since the group was set up. Feeling down? “In Bourke for instance, there was a lot of dogs roaming the streets,” Ms Josephson said.”This was reported from Phil the ranger, and since we started and the word got out that those dogs are going to be picked up and taken out of town and rehomed.”Phil said there is barely a dog walking the street,” she said.Rural dogs being dumpedThe group has an agreement with the Cobar and Bourke Shire Councils, where all the impounded dogs are picked up or delivered to the ROAR site in Cobar rather than being put down.It is run by Ms Josephson and two other women who also deliver the town’s mail. “If a dog is not a good pigger they get dumped in the bush.””They [dogs] can end up on people’s properties, they can be shot, they can destroy sheep, die a very poor death, starvation in the heat.” An animal rescue program unique to the western region has been responsible for a vast drop in dog euthanasia rates in two remote western New South Wales communities.The volunteer-run Rural Outback Animal Rescue (ROAR) based at Cobar was set up to address high numbers of dogs being impounded.The co-founder Leah Josephson said the group had so far helped re-home 151 animals and it has had dogs from across the west, including Bourke and Broken Hill.She said it had proven to be a big help to residents and farmers. There are always dogs Dogs have a particular kindness, gentleness and intuition when it comes to understanding their human friends, writes Deidre Fidge.

Man's best friend may be a result of genetics
Related Story:
Map:
Cobar 2835
Related Story:
The diverse street dogs of the APY Lands
ABC Western Plains

By Kathleen Ferguson

Posted

October 13, 2016 16:13:07

Photo:
Leah Josephson, Wizzy Knezevic & Casey Vidot with rescued dog Sweetpea (The Cobar Weekly)

Boy buys a pony with money saved from lemonade stand

Map:
Scarborough 4020
(612 ABC Brisbane: Terri Begley) 612 ABC Brisbane

By Terri Begley and Jessica Hinchliffe

Posted

October 14, 2016 12:19:30

Photo:
It took three years but Sabastian got his pony, Tom.
(Facebook: Juliana Kent)
Sabastian’s lemonade was made the traditional way, with lemon and sugar, and became so popular that he would regularly sell out.”I was selling the lemonade for 20 cents a cup and I saved up for nearly three years.”He said when he first laid eyes on his new pony Tom this week he was over the moon.”I was so happy as he was so big and I wasn’t expecting a big pony.”I felt really happy because a pony was here.”I saved nearly $3,000 to buy Tom.”I’ve ridden him nearly 10 times in five days.”
External Link:

Buying a new pony
Sabastian’s mother Juliana Kent said he was always dedicated to make the money needed.”For three years he kept putting money in a jar and kept praying to the pony gods … we had to embrace it.”She said she found the 13-year-old schoolmaster pony earlier this month and knew immediately he would be perfect.”Last night Sabastian fell asleep on him after an hour of patting him.”The family have since moved from a suburban block to acreage to embrace their new four-legged addition, and Sabastian and Tom will train at the Cedar Lake Equestrian Centre near the Gold Coast.”I’m still learning but I can trot and walk as they’re easy but cantering is hard,” Sabastian said.He now plans to save money for a new saddle and health care for Tom.”I’ll get back to making lemonade to pay for that,” Sabastian said. A seven-year-old budding entrepreneur’s dream of owning a pony has come true after three years’ hard work.Sabastian Lucas from Scarborough, north of Brisbane, set up a business selling lemonade out the front of his family’s home to raise the funds needed to buy his new pet. Photo:
Sabastian sold lemonade and iced teas from the front of his parents’ house.

Muslim women get on their bikes to ‘eliminate fear’

(702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
The Sydney Cycling Sisters are a group of Muslim women who gather for weekly riding sessions.On Sunday, more than a dozen Cycling Sisters will get on their bikes for their second Spring Cycle race from North Sydney to Homebush.Their message?”Muslim women are the same as any other women,” Ms Rahal said.Challenging ‘negative rhetoric’The occupational therapist and mother of four said the “negative Islamic rhetoric” in the past decade following terrorist attacks had scared a lot of people in the Muslim community.”You watched TV and saw Tony Abbott saying: ‘You’ve got to be on Team Australia’,” Ms Rahal said.”What does that mean? A few years ago Cindy Rahal was sitting in a shopping centre with her sister and a friend when a man approached her yelling: “There are so many f***ing Muslims around.”He threatened her with a crowbar before leaving and causing damage elsewhere in the centre.”He basically stood over me … and said, ‘have you ever seen a crowbar’ in a really menacing way,” Ms Rahal recalled.”It was a Thursday night — I thought I was safe.”The intimidation was very real, very scary.”This incident, as well as other verbal and physical confrontations experienced by her friends, prompted Ms Rahal to start a cycling group. It means there’s going to be some people who are not going to be included on this team. (702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
“Even though it’s a very small minority that do it, it’s enough to scare women.”I found that a lot of women stopped doing things for leisure, like going out and riding a bike.”Muslims are tired of saying this is not our religion. Photo:
Eaman Badaui from Canley Vale says she loves keeping fit and enjoys meeting women from “all walks of life”. External Link:

Sydney Cycling Sisters Facebook
“We’re saying we’re Muslim women and we’re free, we’re going to ride our bikes and we’re not going to assimilate the way you want us to assimilate.”We’re going to assimilate the way we want to with our hijabs on, while wearing modest clothes and observing our faith, because that’s important to us.”It doesn’t make us bad people and it doesn’t make us terrorists, it makes us people who enjoy life who don’t want to be criticised for what we wear.”Ms Rahal said she hoped more women of all fitness levels and ethnic and religious background would join the Cycling Sisters. Photo:
Cindy Rahal says the cycling group has given the women confidence. We are frustrated with not being heard.”It was a sentiment she put to Pauline Hanson during the ABC’s Q&A program and accused the senator of proliferating fear about Muslims.”With this cycling group, we’re trying to eliminate some of that fear,” Ms Rahal said.
Map:
Sydney 2000
Tackling for the sisterhood in Aboriginal women's rugby
Related Story:
(702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh) 702 ABC Sydney

By

Amanda Hoh

Posted

October 14, 2016 13:33:55

Photo:
Sydney Cycling Sisters is a group made up of Muslim women from across Sydney.

Whale helps calf caught in Gold Coast shark net

Map:
Coolangatta 4225
A juvenile whale calf has been cut free after becoming entangled in a shark net off the Gold Coast.The four-metre humpback was trapped by its tail at Coolangatta Beach.Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol spokesman Mark Saul said conditions were calm, so too was the calf’s mother, which sped up the rescue.”Both the whales were very calm,” he said.”Mum had just pushed into the nets slightly to help keep the calf up on the surface which she was doing quite well.”After a few cuts, a bit of mesh away, they both just swam away to the south-east.”It swam away with its mother to the south, in good health and condition.”
By Matt Watson

Updated

October 15, 2016 18:18:56

Video: Juvenile humpback whale freed from shark nets off Gold Coast

(ABC News)

White rhino freed from tyre stuck around its horn

According to Aware Trust, the muscles a rhino uses to open its mouth are much weaker than those used to close it.In order to free the animal safely, the vets were forced to use a tranquiliser dart.”We found Mark, the dominant bull, lying close to his girlfriends, looking decidedly dejected and exhausted from his ordeal on this scorching hot day,” Aware Trust Zimbabwe said in a Facebook post.”Fortunately the tyre came off in a few minutes with man power, and we did not have to resort to cutting through it.”Eleven minutes later he was antidoted (sic) and grazing again as if nothing had happened.” Vets from Aware Trust Zimbabwe have rescued a white rhino after it trapped its snout in a washed-up car tyre.The rhino, a dominant bull named Mark, was unable to eat or drink with the tyre trapped around its snout.Park rangers called vets after the rhino was unable to free itself.The vets from Aware Trust, Keith and Lisa, travelled one-and-a-half hours to get to Mark. The lake near where the rhino was grazing is known for being polluted and its banks are regularly littered with nets and tyres.
Related Story:
Map:
Zimbabwe
WA man helps to save rhinos in South Africa
Updated

October 18, 2016 08:33:15

Video: Park rangers remove stuck tyre from rhino's snout

(ABC News)

Local paper plane championships off to a flyer

it was like a rainbow when we saw all the paper planes went into the air,” Mr Adler said.”You looked around and there was such a great buzz and vibe seeing all the kids happy.”They were connecting with their dads, helping fold the planes, and there wasn’t an iPad in sight.”The longest throw was recorded by local Haden Spencer with 34 metres.The current world record is 69 metres, held by Joe Ayoob and aircraft designer John Collins from the US.”Haden’s plane was an extreme dart which means the wings were folded in on itself,” Mr Adler told 612 ABC Brisbane’s Steve Austin.”His brute force and minimal wind resistance gave him the ability to throw it like a javelin … External Link:

The Australian movie Paper Planes inspired the Brisbane family to start their own competition. Photo:
Each competitor makes their own plane to use in the competition. I’m just the wingman.”
External Link:

Paper plane competition
The family raised more than $1,000 for local charities, including the RSPCA and the AEIOU Foundation.Next year they hope to make the event bigger and invite one of the actors from the film to come and be part of it.”We also want the Scouts or other mums and dads to come and help out,” Mr Adler said.”We want it to become a perpetual community event that is held year in and year out.” it was a big effort.”A family affairMr Adler said the film Paper Planes, which follows a young boy from Western Australia who dreams of competing in the World Paper Plane Championships, motivated him and his two sons to start a local competition. (Facebook: Up Up Upper Mt Gravatt Paper Plane Championships)
“When we saw the movie it connected with us and I wanted to teach my boys how to build something from nothing,” he said.”Laptops and iPads make children disconnected from the community and I wanted to change that.”I thought if I could teach them how to start an inaugural paper plane competition, how cool would that be?”Mr Adler said the competition had taught his sons life-changing skills.”I loved seeing my eight-year-old make a float for the sausage sizzle and he counted the money perfectly.”My youngest son is the managing director of the event and my nine-year-old is the creative director. “It was exciting to see all the different colour paper … A father inspired by a recent Australian film release has held a paper plane competition in Brisbane to encourage children to put down their laptops and connect.Dan Adler and his sons organised the Up Up Upper Mt Gravatt Paper Plane Championships held at the weekend.More than 150 children competed in the longest distance, hang time and expression session events.
Map:
Upper Mount Gravatt 4122
612 ABC Brisbane

By

Jessica Hinchliffe

Posted

October 17, 2016 14:21:39

Photo:
More than 150 children lined up with their handmade paper planes in Brisbane. (Facebook: Up Up Upper Mt Gravatt Paper Plane Championships)

Missing sheepdog returns home just in time to represent Australia

But Scooter the sheepdog had a less than desirable lead-up to the event. “I let them out for a wee and picked up the two things I wanted, called the dogs to take them for a run up the road — and one missing! The competition brought in more than 200 sheepdogs and trainers from all over Australia and New Zealand. “I had rubber boots on, and when I got in the old shed … all the water had run in and the water was over my rubber boots where the pups were.”The mother had lifted some up on the ledges, and I’m one [puppy] short, and I just saw a wriggle of water and a little nose sticking out. He said with Scooter being nine she would sign off soon, but he hoped to have a few more years competing before then.”I keep feeling my pulse and it’s pumping along well, so I’m hoping to get a few more in a couple more years,” he said. (Supplied: Nan Lloyd)
Scooter the survivorRunning off for three days is not the only challenge Scooter has had to overcome.When she was a puppy, Mr Hines saved her from drowning in a large storm that hit the farm.”When the pups were only a week old, a thunderstorm was coming … the storm opened up and after about 20 minutes there was water everywhere, and [I thought] I’d better go and check those pups,” he said. “I must have only been four or five minutes from when she left. “But running through the long grass she wouldn’t hear the whistle, and I’m the whistle maker of the nation, so I wore out about three trying to find her.”Even with the entire district on the lookout, Scooter stayed away for three days before returning home.”The district [people] were amazing. “I usually sell them when they’re eight or nine to a good home, but I think she might have to stay.” Despite the best efforts of Scooter and Mr Hines, the New Zealand team took out the Trans-Tasman Test for the third time running. (Supplied: Nan Lloyd)
Mr Hines and Scooter have been a successful team, taking home a Captain Payne and a Beatson and Beatson trophy in Victoria. “There were six pups and we took them in and washed them to warm them up, and [took] a hair dryer to dry them.”And three years later the two of them were first and second in a novice [sheepdog competition], and two were first and second in the improver.”

Photo:
David Hines (R) and his border collie Scooter prepare to take on the Kiwis. Scooter, a black and white border collie, went missing from her farm in St Arnaud, Victoria, just a week before she was due to fly to Western Australia to compete for the nation in the Trans-Tasman Test against New Zealand.Her trainer, David Hines, said although it was not the first time Scooter had run off, she had never stayed out so long.”She just sneaks off looking for fun, looking for sheep,” Mr Hines said.”And I know to keep my eye on her, but I wasn’t staying at the farm long. “She’s not just a dog, she’s representing Australia, so we had to find her.”

Photo:
Australia hosted New Zealand at the Trans-Tasman Test sheepdog trials in Northam, Western Australia. They all came out and did the fence lines, looked up roads, and they drove,” Mr Hines said.”They put it on the pages of the fire brigade so all the district knew, and then it went to pages of districts, and they even got it onto the ABC to spread the word that Scooter is lost.
Audio:
A trophy-winning sheepdog has had an unusual lead-up to a major championship, going missing for three days before she was due to represent her country.The Supreme Australian Sheepdog Championship was held in Northam, about 100 kilometres east of Perth, last week.
(ABC Rural: Michelle Stanley) WA Country Hour

By

Michelle Stanley

Updated

October 20, 2016 10:57:42

Photo:
David Hines says Scooter must love to play hide and seek.
Map:
Northam 6401
A Big Country: Sheep dog rivalry in trans-Tasman series

(ABC Rural)

Training dog handlers to manage the big picture
Related Story:
Sheep dog trials distract graziers from drought

Sheepdog Championships attract record numbers of female competitors
Related Story:

Related Story:

Woman stuck in bath for four days rescued after local cafe notices absence

Map:
United Kingdom
An elderly woman who was trapped in her bath for four days has been rescued by police in the UK after a waitress at her favourite cafe noticed her absence and became worried for her safety.According to a report by the Essex Echo, 87-year-old Doreen Mann became stuck in her bath when one morning she found she could not lift herself out.”It was frightening in a sense because I didn’t know how long I would be stuck there,” she told the Echo.But when a waitress at her local cafe, Tomassi’s in Southend, realised that she had not seen Ms Mann in three days, she called the police.”She didn’t come in for a few days and then she didn’t come in on Saturday like she always does, but I thought perhaps her cousin from Chelmsford was visiting her,” Sonia Congrave said.”On the Monday she didn’t come in and the best thing I did was call the police because I was concerned and luckily I had her address so the police went to check if she was ok.”Ms Congrave, 39, said Ms Mann had bruising on her knees after trying to get out of the bath and survived by drinking water from the tap and covering herself with towels or topping up the hot water when she got cold.”All she wanted afterwards was her cake and a cup of tea,” Ms Congrave said.She said she had since bought Ms Mann a mobile phone in case of any emergencies in the future.
Posted

October 18, 2016 11:47:45

Sarbi the bomb sniffer dog preserved forever at War Memorial

Treasure Trove: Sarbi the explosives detection dog

(ABC News)
Map:
Canberra 2600

(Supplied: Australian War Memorial)
While Sarbi is not the first dog in the AWM’s collection, Ms Peek said she reflected the changing nature of war.”Nowadays so much warfare is encounters [with] improvised explosive devices.”Dogs are trained to sniff out an explosive device up to 100 metres away.”Some of them of course unfortunately have been blown up by the device … Photo:
Sarbi has been preserved by a taxidermist for permanent display at the AWM. Photo:
Sarbi on duty with her handler before she went missing in Afghanistan. they actually have saved a lot of [soldiers’] lives.” (Supplied: Department of Defence)
“They put out some of David’s sweaty clothes outside the base hoping that she would come back,” Ms Peek said.”She was eventually declared missing in action after three weeks when they couldn’t find her.”Thirteen months later an American soldier spotted a dog he thought might be Sarbi in an Afghan village.He tested her with military commands and, after she responded, negotiated for her return.”It seems that she had belonged to a village chief who had treasured her,” Ms Peek said.”She was in very good condition so they’d looked after her — she’d even put on weight.”But once they realised she was a valuable bargaining chip I suppose they did want some money in return.”Sarbi spent months in quarantine in Afghanistan and Australia before being reunited with her handler.She was retired from the Army and lived with Simpson, now a Warrant Officer, as his family’s pet, before dying from a brain tumour in 2015 at the age of 12.Preserved with paw upWarrant Officer Simpson wanted Sarbi preserved so visitors could learn her story as part of AWM’s new Middle East display, which includes 220 items from its own collection and on loan from current and former Defence Force personnel.He advised that Sarbi should be depicted in a customary pose, smiling with one paw raised.The taxidermist used fur from his own border collie to cover a shaved spot on the back of Sarbi’s head. Sarbi, the explosive detection dog who was famously lost and found in Afghanistan, has been preserved as a key exhibit at the Australian War Memorial (AWM).The black Labrador-Newfoundland cross went missing on September 2, 2008 when Australian special forces were ambushed by the Taliban while on patrol with US and Afghan troops in Uruzgan province.During the subsequent nine-hour battle, the clip that attached Sarbi’s harness to her handler, Corporal David Simpson, was shot off.Spooked by an explosion, she disappeared in the chaos.Corporal Simpson was one of nine Australians wounded in the fight; SAS trooper Mark Donaldson was later awarded the Victoria Cross for drawing enemy fire away from the casualties.Lost in Uruzgan province for 13 monthsAWM curator Jane Peek said after the wounded were evacuated, the soldiers searched for Sarbi.
666 ABC Canberra

By

Louise Maher

Posted

October 18, 2016 16:40:19

Photo:
Sarbi trotting away from a US Army Chinook helicopter at Tarin Kowt in November 2009. (Supplied: Department of Defence)

Audio:

Bird lovers flock to empty Darwin arcade

Map:
Darwin 0800
Photo:
Julio and his cockatoo Paulie enjoy the sunset at Nightcliff. (Supplied: Sarah Mackie)
Julio came to Darwin by boat as a teenager seeking asylum from East Timor and said he thinks of Paulie as a little brother when he is missing his family.Ornithologist Amanda Lilleyman is pictured in her “office” on the Darwin mudflats and spoke about the five black-tailed godwits she wanted to get tattooed on an as-yet-undecided location.And Helen Gordon posed with her bantam rooster Elvis, one of many chooks who are at home on her 12-acre block near Coolalinga. Photo:
Amanda Lilleyman in her “office” on the Darwin mudflats. (Supplied: Sarah Mackie)
“I grew up in Darwin on an egg farm and the eggs back then were in cages, so a battery chicken farm,” she said.”It’s a little bit different at my house, my chickens are all free ranging.”Transforming spaces, surprising peopleThe portrait project’s creative producer, Johanna Bell, described herself as “a bit of a bird nerd”.She is also interested in public art and has been inspired by the Renew Newcastle effort to revitalise empty city streets through art projects.With the help of a grant from the City of Darwin’s public art program, she worked with photographer Sarah Mackie and projectionist Pier Filippo Galetti to bring her vision to life.”Temporary public art is all about transforming places and surprising people,” she said.”Lots of locals use the Anthony Plaza as a thoroughfare and I love the idea of them lucking upon these intimate portraits of strangers’ lives during their lunch break.”I wanted to create a work that changes the way people think about disused spaces in Darwin.” The funny thing about Nathan Richardson is that he can fly further than his yellow and blue macaw, Skye.He is a commercial pilot and has flown all over the Top End as part of his day job.By comparison, eight-month-old Skye doesn’t fly much further than up onto the air-conditioner and back, occasionally.”Skye is clipped, so it’s a bit of conjecture at some times but it is for her own safety,” Nathan said.”She’s quite happy just walking around and chewing stuff and she’s got full run of the house.”Nathan and Skye are among a handful of Darwin locals and their pet birds captured in a series of photograph and video portraits that are being projected onto an empty shopfront in one of the quiet arcades in the CBD.There is also Julio Carses Da Costa, known to Nightcliff joggers as The Cockatoo Man, who cycles the foreshore with his bird Paulie.
(Supplied: Sarah Mackie) By

Jacqueline Breen

Posted

October 18, 2016 17:42:17

Photo:
Nathan and his pet macaw Skye.

Pop art unicorn a winner for next Adelaide Fringe

By Nicola Gage

Posted

October 19, 2016 11:24:11
More Fringe shows will be announced in early December and the event will run from February 17 until March 19. A pop-art poster depicting a unicorn has been chosen to promote the next Adelaide Fringe festival.It is the work of Barossa Valley-based designer Jennifer Rimbault, who is delighted to have beaten about 200 other entries from around the world.”The creature in my poster isn’t what people would expect — it is quirky and unusual, just like the Fringe,” she said.”I was so surprised my design was chosen and I feel blessed that it will be used to promote such a loved event.”Fringe director Heather Croall agreed the winner captured the magical spirit of the annual arts event.”The Adelaide Fringe is a such a great transformation of the city of Adelaide — it’s a real magical festival wonderland that takes over,” she said.”We just felt that this winning poster entry really embodied the spirit [of] fun and experiencing the unexpected.”She said Fringe staff were excited when they found out, after the judging, that the poster was by a South Australian-based artist.”We get hundreds of entries and when we choose the winner we don’t know where they’re from. It was wonderful to realise it was a local, and a young designer,” she said.Tickets are already available for about 40 of next year’s Fringe shows. Performers will include playwright/singer Amanda Palmer, comedian Dave Hughes and the acrobatics team Cirque Africa.”There’s cabaret, there’s comedy, there’s circus, there’s theatre and as always with the Adelaide Fringe there’s every genre in every size of venue imaginable,” Ms Croall said.She warned some shows would be likely to sell out quickly, as in past years.”We look like we have broken the record in terms of number of shows that have registered so we are set probably to break the ticket selling record again,” she said.
(Supplied: Adelaide Fringe) Photo:
Jennifer Rimbault thinks her poster captures the quirky spirit of the Fringe.
Map:
Adelaide 5000
Related Story:
Street parties and magical lighting kick off Adelaide's Fringe Festival
Adelaide Fringe Festival under fire over 'greed and complacency'
Related Story: